Ask a Pediatrician: How Often Should Kids Get a Checkup?

Dr. Jeremy Friedman, chief of pediatric medicine at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, answers your most pressing questions about your child's health

From the print edition, October 2012

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Photography by Jencu, via Flickr (CC)

Q:  Do children need a physical every year?

A: That probably depends a bit on what age the child is and whom you ask. Your baby’s first visit to the doctor is usually by two months. Regular visits will follow at four, six, nine, 12 and 18 months, two years and then once every year until the age of five. Generally, when your child turns five years, she could probably see her doctor for a routine checkup every one or two years until she is 18 years old. Apart from monitoring growth, development and general health, these checkups should be used for guidance and counselling.

For more advice from Dr. Friedman, be sure to check out these questions:

• What Can I Do to Relieve My Child’s Cough?
• When Does a Nosebleed Need a Doctor’s Visit?
• How Do I Prevent My Child from Getting Head Lice?
• What Are the Signs of Celiac Disease?
• Does My Child Need More Sleep?
• What’s the Best Age to Get My Kids Tested for Allergies?

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